Earlier today (4 August), Mongolian Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh received P.Burentugs, a wrestler from Uvs Province in order to congratulate him on becoming the new “Avarga”, of Titan in traditional wrestling. From the rank of Lion (Arsalan), P.Burentugs ascended to the highest rank of Titan in the country’s traditional wrestling tournament during Naadam 2020 Festival. A total of 512 wrestlers across Mongolia competed in the Naadam.
Naadam, which simply means “games” in the Mongolian language, is the most important event for Mongolian traditional wrestlers who can only attain rank during this festival.
The Naadam Festival, which is on UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage, is an official holiday celebrated every year from July 11 to 15 across the nomadic country and features “The Three Manly Games”, namely wrestling, horse racing and archery. This is a slight misnomer, because women have been competing in archery for many years prior to “Me Too”; Horse racing, which involves a grueling cross-country ordeal is restricted to young boys.
Dating back to the age of the Mongol Empire, Naadam has been held every summer without a break. Despite strict measures to combat coronavirus, which have resulted in zero deaths and local transmission, Naadam was a largely televised event in 2020.